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Gillian Simpson’s short experimental ‘Charged’ deals with a gruesome trauma that no one should ever suffer. When we watched the film the first time, we thought that we didn’t understand the storyline, and we hoped it wasn’t what we thought it was, but after reading the director’s statement, we understood the painful truth. We mentioned the misunderstanding before because it is terrible that, unfortunately, something like this happens more than one can count.

A woman goes on a date with a man. When the date ends, the man invites himself over to the woman’s house. One thing leads to another, and the story builds up from a flirtatious endeavour to a crime induced by power.

Gillian Simpson metamorphosed a story that could have easily been a short fiction film with straight cuts into an experimental that does not need to show events but draw references to a particular event and let the viewer project their version of the story. We loved the symbolism of every scene and how powerful and straightforwardly it was presented. The tiny cut that lets a bit of blood out, the drone shot of a woman alone on a plain field, or the metallic bedpost as a silenced witness with no power over what is going on, the whole package delivers a powerful message that brings chills down the spine. 

Another element that hits with extraordinary power is the audio medium filled with noises to create discomfort. Paired with the two voices trying their best to achieve something, one of them tries to be free, the other tries to be convincing, and so the perfect mix is created to reflect pain in the most simplistic and unexpected way.

There is no happy ending in this film, and there is no bright side to the story, but the way in which it was made is perfect for ‘Charged’ to be the voice of the ones who are too scared or too traumatized to talk. Thanks to films like Gillian Simpson’s, there is hope, and we think that the world can be transformed into a better place.

Written by Vlad A. G